Former UA assistant dean sentenced to probation

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - A former University of Alabama assistant dean was sentenced Friday to one year probation for obstruction of justice.

Tari Devon Williams, 39, of Pleasant Grove, was sentenced Friday by U.S. District Judge Virginia Emerson Hopkins, according to a statement sent by U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance to FOX6 News.

Williams was sentenced to probation, six months of home confinement, and 100 hours of community service for obstructing justice and making a false statement to a law enforcement officer in an investigation involving her husband.

"This office continues to believe that white collar crimes should be prosecuted," Vance said in the statement. "We will continue to vigorously enforce the law."

Vance said Williams pleaded guilty to the obstruction and false statement charges in October 2009. She was employed as assistant dean for the University of Alabama School of Law's Public Interest Institute between April and June 2009 when prosecutors said she provided false information and concealed assets from federal agents who were investigating a health-care fraud case against her husband. Vance said Williams committed these acts in order to help her husband conceal profits and assets derived from his criminal activity, and to conceal certain evidence from federal investigators and the grand jury.

Prosecutors said William's husband, Isaac Smith, of Pleasant Grove, entered a plea agreement in August 2009 acknowledging he had engaged in a criminal conspiracy to commit health care fraud between September 2008 and April 2009. Smith and a co-defendant, Annetra Poole-Moore, both entered pleas of guilty to health care fraud, aggravated identity theft and disclosure prohibited by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA).

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